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Materials Characterization Assistance

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boyerma
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Joined: December 29th, 2014, 4:05 am
Country: United States

Materials Characterization Assistance

Post by boyerma » December 29th, 2014, 4:54 am

My name is Mike Boyer. I am a teacher at North Penn High School in Lansdale, PA. My students and I need help with electrical characterization and hope you can help us.

Do you have suggestions for meters and test equipment regarding the electrical characterization of conductive nanofiber mats (polyaniline nanofibers and high temperature superconductive nanofibers), spin coated thin films, piezoelectric nanofibers and dye sensitized solar cell performance? I was fortunate to have won a grant to help acquire better equipment to characterize the work my students are performing and I need assistance in determining the best equipment and processes. We know that we won’t be able to afford everything but hope we can find a meter(s) and apparatus(s) that can serve multiple purposes…

I teach an engineering research and development course to high school seniors and the focus of their research has been primarily on the functionalization of polymer nanofibers for healthcare, energy and environmental issues. Each year, the students’ research endeavors grow in complexity. We are currently utilizing low quality, hand held digital multimeters and a Lab Volt Laboratory Instrument System (Analog Milliammeters and 2-20VDC Power supply) to try and characterize our work.

This year, one of my student research teams is performing research with polyaniline blended nanofibers and another team is working on the development of high temperature superconductive nanofibers and they both will need to measure their electrical conductivity. We have been researching different methodologies such as the four point probe method and the IDE (Interdigitated Electrodes) process. We have read the pros and cons of both methods and are having difficulty determining the best method, and more importantly, the types of meters, apparatuses and instructions we need to perform these tasks.

Would you be able to help us out in determining the best characterization package for our level of research to help us in these endeavors?

Also, are you aware of any education assistance programs? We are quickly learning that research characterization isn't cheap… :-)

Thank you, in advance, for any assistance and guidance you may be able to offer to us… Best regards, Mike Boyer (Please feel free to visit our website at http://www.thefutureisnear.org)

Dale C
Keithley Applications
Keithley Applications
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:22 am
Country: United States
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Re: Materials Characterization Assistance

Post by Dale C » December 29th, 2014, 5:46 am

Hello Mike,
Thanks for thinking of Keithley.
What is the range of levels of conductivity are you trying to measure?
Keithley has gear to measure from very conductive to ultra resistive. (Low ohms to High ohms).
Here is an application note about high conductivity(low resistance) and high resistivity using a four point collinear probe technique.
That should help get you going.
Attachments
2615 4 Point Probe AN.pdf
(154.63 KiB) Downloaded 1375 times

boyerma
Posts: 3
Joined: December 29th, 2014, 4:05 am
Country: United States

Re: Materials Characterization Assistance

Post by boyerma » January 4th, 2015, 4:15 pm

Hello Dale,
Thank you for the reply and I apologize for the delayed response. Based upon many research papers my students have been reviewing, the conductivity values range from 0.00001 S/cm to 5000 S/cm or more depending upon the material and process.
We are currently reviewing the Pro4 system which utilizes a four point probe, software and the Keithley 2401 Source Meter.
I am waiting to hear back regarding the process of utilizing Interdigitated Microsensor Electrodes from the manufacturer and the best type of meters/processes they recommend.
Do you have any resistivity/conductivity packages and/or suggestions that can help us? Thanks, Mike

Dale C
Keithley Applications
Keithley Applications
Posts: 2847
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:22 am
Country: United States
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Re: Materials Characterization Assistance

Post by Dale C » January 5th, 2015, 6:22 am

Your is about 10 kohms to about 0.0002 ohms.
I would suggest model 6221 current source and Model 2182A nanovoltmeter.
This combination will give you the entire range. Especially the low end.
If you do not need to specify the test current then the Model 2750 DMM would do the job.
This has a range of 100M ohm to 1 ohm. The 1 ohm range sensitivity is to 1u ohm with about 40uohms accuracy.

boyerma
Posts: 3
Joined: December 29th, 2014, 4:05 am
Country: United States

Re: Materials Characterization Assistance

Post by boyerma » January 6th, 2015, 5:42 am

Thank you Dale for your assistance. Best regards, Mike

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